The Facts of Donald Trump

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 11 2011 9:13 AM

The Facts of Donald Trump

This again? Really? Well, okay. Gail Collins used her space on the New York Times op-ed page to knock around Donald Trump, and the Donald wrote a response which was printed with no edits. Some people have focused on Trump's grammar; I am more interested in his lazy grasp of the facts.

His grandmother from Kenya stated, on tape, that he was born in Kenya and she was there to watch the birth. His family in Honolulu is fighting over which hospital in Hawaii he was born in - they just don't know. 

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a former Slate political reporter. 


What's Trump referring to? Two of the oldest and flimsiest myths of birtherism!

1) In October 2008, a street preacher named Ron McRae recorded what he claimed was a call to the home , in Kenya, of Sarah Hussein Obama. I described and linked to the tape back in December 2008.

Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was "present" when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says "yes." McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly—"Was he born in Mombassa?"—and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.

You can listen to the tape yourself. You can also consider that Sarah Hussein Obama has done countless non-ambush interviews and never, ever said that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

2) There is no "fight" between Barack Obama's family members about where he was born. He has always stated that he was born at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children. The first and only time this was contradicted was in a 2004 article in the Rainbow Edition, the school newspaper at the Education Lab charter school in Hawaii. The article, titled "A New Face in Politics," was a short biography of then-senatorial candidate Barack Obama, anchored to a new interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half sister. The author, Bennett Guira, writes that Obama was born at Queens Hospital -- but he doesn't provide a citation for that. Neither Obama nor Soetoro-Ng ever makes the claim.

So: These are total lies, and now they've been printed without edits in the Times .

David Weigel is a former Slate political reporter. 



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

Even by Russian Standards, Moscow’s  Anti-War March Was Surprisingly Grim

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 11:13 AM Your Own Personal Rand Paul How the libertarian hero makes his foreign policy contradictions disappear.
Sept. 22 2014 12:07 PM Divestment Isn’t the Answer To destroy demand for fossil fuels, universities can do a lot better than just selling some stocks.
Dear Prudence
Sept. 22 2014 12:00 PM Dear Prudence Live Chat For September 22, 2014.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:21 PM Watch John Oliver Take on Miss America
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 11:32 AM South Park Takes on Washington’s NFL Team and Its Terrible Name
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.